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  1. #1
    Bicycle traffic engineer
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    Riding in the "Right Tire Track" is NOT using the full lane!

    From the Facebook group Bicyclists Belong In The Traffic Lane.


  2. #2
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    nice thoughts, but in my experience there if a cyclist rides in the green position, there will be a small percentage of psycho motorists who will try to pass on the right while claiming that the cyclist was "in my way". Sad, but that's the way the world works sometimes.
    Recycle, Reclaim, Reuse and Repair
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    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
    nice thoughts, but in my experience there if a cyclist rides in the green position, there will be a small percentage of psycho motorists who will try to pass on the right while claiming that the cyclist was "in my way". Sad, but that's the way the world works sometimes.
    If I encounter a motorist trying to pull that stunt, within the lane, I block their path. But if it is a situation where a right-turn lane will be available and they suddenly go into the right-turn lane to go back into the through lane, I don't bother.

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    Randomhead
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    my intent is to break the fascination that motorists feel with the center line. If I'm in a substandard lane, I ride far enough out that it's obvious that they can't pass without changing lanes. I don't care if they change lanes or not, I just want a safe pass, and I don't see why I need a full lane. This feels like a VC argument, should I move this to VC?

  5. #5
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    When I "take the lane" I don't normally ride as far left as the green figure. Put me half way in-between the green and the red for lanes too narrow to share (almost all of them) only moving as far left as the green figure (sometimes even over to left tire track) when I'm going straight through an intersection in stop and go in-town traffic with an automobile in front of me and an oncoming vehicle waiting to make a left turn across my traffic stream. In that case I'm moving into the left side of the lane to be sure the oncoming vehicle waiting for a gap to make a left turn across my traffic stream sees me and doesn't mistake my position as a gap they can make their left turn through with me half-hid behind the automobile in front of me. For lanes that are wide enough to share (only two short distance spots that I know of within 50-mile radius of where I am that have 16+ foot wide spots) then I will ride in a position that would be in-between the red and orange, giving enough room for an automobile to pass me within the lane but being still far enough out from the edge to encourage most sensible motorists to move over to the left of the lane as much as possible and give me a big cushion to the right to move over more for an instant for the aggressive motorists who still try to pass too close (don't move until I absolutely have to and then only for a sub-second while they are passing and back in position at their rear bumper so the next one behind them can't try to push me over further).

    I will move a little to the right of my normal "take the narrow lane" riding position (half-way in-between green and red in the diagram) to allow a non-fat motorcycle to pass me in the left tire track, something that happens quite often around here during the summer. A few times I've done the same for a bicycle to pass me, but that hardly ever happens compared to non-fat motorcycles (fat motorcycles get the same treatment as cars) since there aren't many cyclist in my area that both will take the lane fully like I will and ride as traffic VC style when appropriate and also are going significantly faster then me to want to pass me. Happens sometimes but not very often and its usually a roady in spandex on a road bike, they are about the only other cyclist I encounter that are both willing to ride in the lane as part of traffic and are significantly faster then me to be desirous of passing me. I pass many more myself who are either in the right tire track or edge hugging then those that pass me (in which case I pass in either the green position indicated in the diagram for passing an edge hugger or in the left tire track for passing a right tire track rider).
    Last edited by turbo1889; 09-12-13 at 05:19 PM.

  6. #6
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    . . . This feels like a VC argument, should I move this to VC?
    I can't speak for the OP, but I would agree that this thread which is specifically about where to ride in the lane when "taking the lane" is probably best in the VC sub-forum. Probably less likely to degenerate into a mud-slinging contest between VCers and anti-VCers over there then in the main A&S section.

  7. #7
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    The green cyclist is being a dick. Safety has nothing to do with it.

    Red cyclist is correct.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mr. Hairy Legs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    The green cyclist is being a dick. Safety has nothing to do with it.

    Red cyclist is correct.
    ^ this

  9. #9
    genec genec's Avatar
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    The Green cyclist is also liable to encounter grease and oil in that location... any motorcycle rider will tell you that the safe spots on the road are either tire track... and to stay well away from the center of the road where all the automobiles mark their way with copious stains.

    Sorry Bob, but that really is not a safe place to ride a two wheeler.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Gallo's Avatar
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    why do these ants ride with bent rear wheels?

    whose to say there is not a cross wind and yellow ant is on his way to win the tour tucked nicely in the draft ?

    I think the green ant is trying to blow the red ant off his wheel to get the podium and the glory.

    The red ant can climb and is just happy to be in the top group at the end.

    The team car really did them disservice by not swapping those wheels out

    I think the white ant (unseen in this photo) is poising to attack and has a straight wheel

    that's how I see it
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  11. #11
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    The Green cyclist is also liable to encounter grease and oil in that location... any motorcycle rider will tell you that the safe spots on the road are either tire track... and to stay well away from the center of the road where all the automobiles mark their way with copious stains.

    Sorry Bob, but that really is not a safe place to ride a two wheeler.
    This (grease and oil) is why I usually don't ride dead center in the lane but between the right tire track and the center of the lane so I'm to the right of the oil drip line in the center of the lane and to the left of the right tire track. But as I mentioned there are specific cases where I will edge over into the left tire track for a short period to help prevent getting Left-T crossed:

    Quote Originally Posted by turbo1889
    . . . only moving as far left as the green figure (sometimes even over to left tire track) when I'm going straight through an intersection in stop and go in-town traffic with an automobile in front of me and an oncoming vehicle waiting to make a left turn across my traffic stream. In that case I'm moving into the left side of the lane to be sure the oncoming vehicle waiting for a gap to make a left turn across my traffic stream sees me and doesn't mistake my position as a gap they can make their left turn through with me half-hid behind the automobile in front of me. . . .

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    my intent is to break the fascination that motorists feel with the center line. If I'm in a substandard lane, I ride far enough out that it's obvious that they can't pass without changing lanes. I don't care if they change lanes or not, I just want a safe pass, and I don't see why I need a full lane. This feels like a VC argument, should I move this to VC?

    The OP's advice is bad. Not because its always wrong but because its not always right.

    I can think of innumerable times when this is bad advice. Here's one of them- in New England we get these things called frost heaves. They tend to be right in the center of the lane (see below). If you were to always position yourself left of the forst heave you have no place to maneuver if a car comes up behind you suddenly, which on a winding country road is par for the course. If you try to cross the frost heave while running parallel to it you can catch your wheel just like a railroad track and down you go.

    Some of us don't like to play chicken with drivers and deliberately "block their path" as Chris516 prefers. Some of us like to have the option of moving out of the way when we feel it's the best course.image-9.jpg

    And yes, please move this and other bshanteau "take the lane" propaganda posts to VC. It's getting tiresome. They are making me yearn for the posts of Bekologist.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    The OP's advice is bad. Not because its always wrong but because its not always right.
    I agree that there is no single lane position that is always correct. The best lane position often varies even on the same roadway as conditions change. Even so, I see far more cyclists riding too far to the right for their own safety than I see riding too far left, so I think discussions of lane positioning are worthwhile if we can get beyond labels and discuss the demands various conditions place on us.


    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    And yes, please move this and other bshanteau "take the lane" propaganda posts to VC. It's getting tiresome. They are making me yearn for the posts of Bekologist.
    Oh no. Please, don't bring him back yet. I'm just not ready for another ten page quibble between him and JF that ends up in some dungeon somewhere.

  14. #14
    meandering nomad
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    Sorry but I am with the OP on this issue. I take the lane on every road that has two lanes going in the same direction unless there is ample room to share. I find that I do not get harrassed any more than the curb hugging simp I used to be when I wasn't changing flats from the debris. I do not always take the lane but only when other vehicles are slower than me. On roads with blind curves I am almost on the double yellow to keep idiots from passing me. Hey Buzz remember Ocean Drive? I do feel that people on this forum tend to be cagers that ride bicycles that they transport on their cage, therefore they are more concerned with cars going fast than bikes being safe.
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  15. #15
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billew View Post
    Sorry but I am with the OP on this issue. I take the lane on every road that has two lanes going in the same direction unless there is ample room to share. I find that I do not get harrassed any more than the curb hugging simp I used to be when I wasn't changing flats from the debris. I do not always take the lane but only when other vehicles are slower than me. On roads with blind curves I am almost on the double yellow to keep idiots from passing me. Hey Buzz remember Ocean Drive? I do feel that people on this forum tend to be cagers that ride bicycles that they transport on their cage, therefore they are more concerned with cars going fast than bikes being safe.

    Ocean Drive! You bet! And a great example of a road where a more center lane position for much of that road is a good idea. But Ocean Drive was always a road I tore around at a pretty good clip every time I did it. I don't know if it totally makes sense for the "riding a bike for the first time in 20 years" crowd tooling around on their rentals.

    But Newport/Middletown presents its fair share of lane position challenges. For example, where do you place yourself on Route 114?

  16. #16
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    And yes, please move this and other bshanteau "take the lane" propaganda posts to VC. It's getting tiresome.
    +1

  17. #17
    Senior Member FenderTL5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bshanteau View Post
    From the Facebook group Bicyclists Belong In The Traffic Lane.

    Obviously, the lawmakers and judiciary in Massachusetts didn't get this memo.



    Quote Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post
    .. Put me half way in-between the green and the red for lanes too narrow to share (almost all of them) only moving as far left as the green figure (sometimes even over to left tire track) when I'm going straight through an intersection in stop and go in-town traffic with an automobile in front of me and an oncoming vehicle waiting to make a left turn across my traffic stream..
    turbo1889, you and I must have a similar riding style, because what you described is the way I approach things the majority of the time.
    I do have a couple spots where I do move to the left of center but they are short and specific.
    Nashville, like L.A. without a tan.

  18. #18
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    . . . And yes, please move this and other bshanteau "take the lane" propaganda posts to VC. It's getting tiresome. They are making me yearn for the posts of Bekologist.
    Some of his threads have been VC specific (like this one) but others also were per-tenant to those riding FRAP as well, the one about freeway style roads that are not freeways with swooped in on/off-ramps that make problems for any cyclist trying to use the road VC or FRAP riding is one that should stay in the main forum.

    As to, Bekologist, oh please, please NO !!! I'm pretty solid in my beliefs myself, but I at least have the intellectual honesty to admit when the other side has a valid point, and I have done so more then once in my posts on this forum. That guy is like me only with hardened opinions on steroids ten times over and never even listening to anything anyone else says and always posting his party line "sound bites" over and over and over like a broken record. There are others on this forum as hard headed or more so then I am including some I've had strong disagreements with but someone who does nothing more then say the same "sound bite talking points over and over and over with zero intellectual honesty and is as bad or worst then a top level politician can grate on ones nerves whether you agree with them or not. The OP of this thread does seem to have "talking points" of his own but at least he isn't posting every other post in almost every thread with the same talking points over and over and over and over and never even acknowledging any potential argument on the other side. I could be wrong but so far I haven't seen any outright intellectual dishonesty from him. I could be biased of course since I tend to agree with him a lot more then I do with Bekologist but I certainly wouldn't say we agree 100% and I didn't always dis-agree with Bekologist on everything either.

  19. #19
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    IMO the red cyclist is riding where he should. Everyone including cyclist needs to understand a couple of simple facts. First and formost a bike need an amount of manuvering room to stay upright. Second if there is no shoulder, riding at the very edge of the road puts the bike in all the junk that may flat his tire. BTW riding in the center of the two tire lanes put the cyclist on all the grease and some junk too.

  20. #20
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post
    Some of his threads have been VC specific (like this one) but others also were per-tenant to those riding FRAP as well, the one about freeway style roads that are not freeways with swooped in on/off-ramps that make problems for any cyclist trying to use the road VC or FRAP riding is one that should stay in the main forum.

    As to, Bekologist, oh please, please NO !!! I'm pretty solid in my beliefs myself, but I at least have the intellectual honesty to admit when the other side has a valid point, and I have done so more then once in my posts on this forum. That guy is like me only with hardened opinions on steroids ten times over and never even listening to anything anyone else says and always posting his party line "sound bites" over and over and over like a broken record. There are others on this forum as hard headed or more so then I am including some I've had strong disagreements with but someone who does nothing more then say the same "sound bite talking points over and over and over with zero intellectual honesty and is as bad or worst then a top level politician can grate on ones nerves whether you agree with them or not. The OP of this thread does seem to have "talking points" of his own but at least he isn't posting every other post in almost every thread with the same talking points over and over and over and over and never even acknowledging any potential argument on the other side. I could be wrong but so far I haven't seen any outright intellectual dishonesty from him. I could be biased of course since I tend to agree with him a lot more then I do with Bekologist but I certainly wouldn't say we agree 100% and I didn't always dis-agree with Bekologist on everything either.

    Well, then let me be the first to say, "you have some valid points here." But regarding bshanteau's posts. Let's not be naive. These are threads with an agenda. Basically, he comes onto BF, drops a "take the lane" propaganda bomb and leaves it to all of us to respond and bicker. This thread will probably run for a while with the usual back and forth and then he'll drop another. It's a political strategy that works like moving a piano an inch at a time. If you don't have the strength or numbers to move it all at once just keep coming back and give it a push once in a while.

    I've been around bike advocacy since the 1970's and this "take the lane" issue has been the single most divisive point between cyclists. It got us nowhere in the 1970's and locked us down right through the turn of the century. It wasn't until less bike-centric organizations like Livable Streets, whose focus is on creating urban spaces for people first with an emphasis on alternatives to the automobile that some tangible progress has taken place.

    I grew up in Rhode Island and when I was 15 my friends and I vowed to not get a drivers' license and ride a bike everywhere (though I eventually got my drivers license I'm the only one still riding everywhere 44 years later). One great thing about Rhode Island is that the entire state and virtually every road fits on one map. We decided we would ride on every road on the map and we would mark them as we rode them. It didn't take long before we discovered that there were some roads that sucked for riding, some that were okay and some that were fantastic. The fantastic ones we would ride again and again and the really bad ones never again. The consistent thing about the fantastic roads was either a great wide shoulder that kept us from cars or roads that had as few cars as possible.

    Yes, in an ideal world all drivers would behave responsibly, drive legally, be courteous and act predictably. In reality we have to contend with some very dangerous situations whenever we are in close proximity to automobiles. Strategies of "blocking their path", "holding your lane" sound good as theories but the whole VC thing never took hold because reality eventually creeps into the mix. Dogmatic bike riding strategies go against one of the strengths of the bicycle as a mode of transport- flexibility.

    I'm often accused in these threads of promoting a "ride like I ride" philosophy and nothing could be further from the truth. I advocate for flexible riding that fits the rider to the particular road they are riding on. This can vary from region to region and vary greatly within regions. I never make recommendations on BF's as to how to ride roads that I have not ridden personally. A Google street view is insufficient for me to draw any conclusions. Ride your own ride and take all internet advice with a big grain of road salt.
    Last edited by buzzman; 09-14-13 at 09:23 AM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
    nice thoughts, but in my experience there if a cyclist rides in the green position, there will be a small percentage of psycho motorists who will try to pass on the right while claiming that the cyclist was "in my way". Sad, but that's the way the world works sometimes.
    If riding in green position leaves enough room for a motor vehicle to slip by on the right then I consider the lane wide enough for safe sharing.
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  22. #22
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    But regarding bshanteau's posts. Let's not be naive. These are threads with an agenda. Basically, he comes onto BF, drops a "take the lane" propaganda bomb and leaves it to all of us to respond and bicker. This thread will probably run for a while with the usual back and forth and then he'll drop another. It's a political strategy that works like moving a piano an inch at a time. If you don't have the strength or numbers to move it all at once just keep coming back and give it a push once in a while.
    Good description of the intent of the OP's posts on A&S. His has stated that his A&S questions are rhetorical and posted for effect. However unlike the piano moving analogy his VC piano hasn't budged an inch forward despite his numerous VC agenda driven posts; but he keeps on trying.

  23. #23
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    IMO, the red cyclist is also inviting dangerous passing behavior. Many of my hair-raising passes involve a yokel who tries an in lane pass with virtually no room to spare (often with oncoming traffic inches away from the left side of their vehicle)
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    In reality we have to contend with some very dangerous situations whenever we are in close proximity to automobiles.
    cycling is a safe mode of transport. just as VCers exaggerate the safety and utility of always taking the lane, copanhamsterdamistas exaggerate the dangers of cycling in the lane.

    Strategies of "blocking their path", "holding your lane" sound good as theories but the whole VC thing never took hold
    tens of thousands of my neighbors practice VC cycling each day.
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

  25. #25
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Moved from A & S.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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